Nepal, a small Himalayan nation sandwiched between two populous giants India and China, has always been prized for its manpower. Among its labor force, the famed Gorkha regiments stand out. Gorkha people from Nepal and India have been known for their martial traditions, making them excellent warriors. Their legendary reputation as able warriors in the Indian army has made them a coveted military connection, and China has long been interested in recruiting its own Gorkha regiment.
For years, Nepal has been heavily dependent on India for employment, and Gorkha recruitment in the Indian army has been a time-tested way to maintain good economic and social ties between the two countries. However, Nepal’s government has suspended the recruitment of Gorkha troops for India this year, which has caused concern for India.
The reason for the suspension is India’s new Armed Forces Recruitment scheme, known as the Agneepath scheme, which was brought in by the Indian government last year. Under this scheme, recruits will have a trial period of four years, after which only a fourth of the troops will be absorbed into the Indian army. This new scheme may jeopardize Nepal’s famed Gorkha troops’ employment opportunities in the Indian army, leading to China’s growing interest in the Nepalese Gorkha regiments.
The history of the Gorkha regiments dates back to the British Raj, where the British considered them a prominent martial race that could be used to fill colonial armies. The Nepalese and Indian Gorkhas were recruited, and after India gained independence in 1947, the tripartite agreement was signed. Under this agreement, the UK retained four Gorkha regiments, India kept six, and Nepal’s Gorkha people would be readily recruited by the two nations. For seven decades, Gorkha troops have served with distinction during all of India’s wars, and the Indian army recruiting Gorkha soldiers has helped Nepal too.
The Gorkha regiments provide employment for rural areas, and retired soldiers earn a good pension. The Indian army runs a welfare organization for its former troops as well. This tradition has been a time-tested way to maintain good economic and social ties between India and Nepal, and China’s attempts to recruit its own Gorkha regiment may jeopardize this.
China’s interest in Nepal’s Gorkha regiments has been growing for years, and Beijing has conducted studies to see why Nepal’s youth are drawn to the Indian army, particularly with regard to the compensation offered. China has been steadily investing in Nepal and facilitating trade and technology, and now, with the Agneepath scheme dispute, China’s time may finally have come.
Nepal’s Northern neighbor’s attempt to recruit Gorkha regiments may end with Beijing finally getting its own Gorkha troops, and that would be a blow to India-Nepal ties. It would be a great shame for Indian and Nepali Gorkha regiments to face off against each other one day.
In conclusion, Nepal’s government suspending the recruitment of Gorkha troops for India due to India’s new Armed Forces Recruitment scheme is becoming a growing concern for India. China’s interest in Nepal’s Gorkha regiments is not new, and with the ongoing dispute, Beijing’s time may have finally come. Jeopardizing the time-tested tradition of Gorkha recruitment in the Indian army may lead to various consequences, including strained diplomatic ties and a loss of trust between the two countries. Moreover, it can potentially impact the economic and social ties between India and Nepal.
The Gorkha regiments have been an essential part of the Indian army for decades, and the recruitment process has been mutually beneficial for both Nepal and India. It provides employment opportunities for Nepali youth and retired soldiers while ensuring a steady supply of well-trained and able soldiers for the Indian army. The suspension of recruitment by Nepal’s government is not only a loss for India but also for the Nepali youth who aspire to join the Indian army.
If China succeeds in recruiting its own Gorkha regiment, it can lead to the formation of an intense rivalry between the Indian and Chinese Gorkha regiments, which can escalate into a larger conflict. It can also impact Nepal’s relationship with India, as the country has always relied on India for employment opportunities and trade. The growing influence of China in Nepal can potentially harm India’s strategic interests in the region.
In conclusion, the recruitment of Gorkha troops by India has been a time-tested tradition that has benefitted both India and Nepal. However, with China’s growing interest in Nepal’s Gorkha regiments and Nepal’s suspension of recruitment, the future of this tradition is uncertain. It is crucial for both India and Nepal to recognize the significance of this tradition and work towards preserving it while ensuring their strategic interests are not compromised. The time has come for India to take concrete steps to address Nepal’s concerns and restore the trust between the two countries before it’s too late.